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Facebook beats revenue expectations with $26.2B in first quarter

Facebook beats revenue expectations with $26.2B in first quarter
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Facebook beat Wall Street revenue expectations in the first quarter of the year, when it brought in $26.2 billion amid increased regulatory scrutiny from Washington.

The social media giant on Wednesday reported sales were up 48 percent compared to the same three-month period last year, driven by strong advertising demand. Analysts had expected revenue of $23.7 billion.

The company said it had 2.85 billion monthly active users, also exceeding analysts' expectations, with the number of U.S. and Canadian users rising slightly to 259 million.

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"We had a strong quarter as we helped people stay connected and businesses grow," CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergHillicon Valley: NATO members agree to new cyber defense policy | YouTube banning politics, elections in masthead ads | 50 groups urge Biden to fill FCC position to reinstate net neutrality rules Pink Floyd's Roger Waters: 'No f---ing way' Zuckerberg can use our song for ad The Hill's Morning Report - Biden-Putin meeting to dominate the week MORE said in a statement.

"We will continue to invest aggressively to deliver new and meaningful experiences for years to come, including in newer areas like augmented and virtual reality, commerce, and the creator economy."

Facebook said in its earnings report that it's preparing for “ad targeting headwinds” as a result of regulatory and platform challenges. The company highlighted as a specific threat recent privacy changes in Apple’s iOS 14 update that could make tracking users more difficult.

Facebook has come under tighter scrutiny from lawmakers and regulators in the past year, especially after some users created pages to help organize the deadly insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6.